Saturday, November 25, 2006


Team-by-Team: One Up, One Down

Just because I feel like it, I’m going to go team-by-team through the first ten NHL teams (alphabetically) and highlight a positive surprise and a negative surprise statistically. The common thread is that they kind of ‘wow’ me in some way.

+ Chris Kunitz (23 13-7-20), who joins the Ray Whitney waiver-wire rejects who have proven themselves to be stars. Funny thing is that the Ducks were the first team to waive him.
- Some wanted Ilya Bryzgalov (90.2SV% in 7 games) to take over the #1 job, but he’s been far poorer than JS Giguere (92.1SV%)

+ Scott Mellanby is still kicking it the age of 40 with 6 goals and 8 assists in 23 games.
- Kari Lehtonen was supposed to be the saviour in nets, but a 89.4SV% in 19 games isn’t gonna cut the cheese.

+ Marc Savard – For all of the poo-pooing (including my own) of the Bruins paying so much for him, he’s got 5 goals and 21 assists in 20 games and is proving that his points were not all the creation of great linemates.
- Stanislav Chistov has loads of promise but has never shown any of it in the NHL. 2 points in 6 games with the Bruins isn’t making the Ducks think they made a mistake.

+ Thomas Vanek has really exploded this season with 23 15-13-28 +15
- Ales Kotalik is one of the few black spots on this squad with just 14 points in 23 games and a team worst -1

+ Rod Brind’Amour. I didn’t figure he’d be able to repeat his offense, but the workout king leads his squad with 33 points in 25 games.
- David Tanabe is showing why the Bruins let him go with 0 goals and 2 assists in 16 games.

+ Mathew Lombardi has a team leading +12 and has 14 points in 20 games. He’s provided some decent secondary scoring.
- Tony Amonte is really showing his age with just 5+3 in 20 games.

+ Nobody is talking about Radim Vrbata, but he’s been producing with very little help around him. 17 points in 21 games and a +7 on this squad is All-Star worthy.
- Adrian Aucoin. I figured he’d have a bounceback year, but 1+5 and -5 in 20 games isn’t what they are paying him for.

+ Duvie Westcott – In Bryan Berard’s absence, Duvie has been good offensively with 3+5 in 11 games.
- Poor Gilbert Brule has 1+2 and -9 in 17 games. This isn’t the Calder performance I expected :( Stupid Jackets.

+ Tyler Arnason, the laziest mutha this side of Kevin Federline, is quietly producing well with 6+9 in 22 games.
+ Surprisingly, nobody blows me away as a negative ‘surprise’, since most players are performing to expected levels. So, I’ll highlight another positive in Paul Stastny, who has 4+10 in 22 games. His -7 is sucky, but I’m pleasantly surprised to see him doing well offensively.

+ Eric Lindros is no star, but he’s helping my co-worker in his office pool with 5+11 in 22 games. He’s performed fairly well on the Power Play and hasn’t been injured yet!
- Jaroslav Modry – Just 3 points (1+2) in 20 games is poor for a guy with his skills.

Two nice comments about the Avs? Are you feeling ok?
Lindros should get hurt right about now, since you jinxed him.
Hmm, negative comments about the Avs, I can think of several but two wins in two games gets people thinking more positively. Paul Stastny is awesome. Patrice Breeze-by gives me much pain.
Things may turn around for Brule, Hitchcock seems to really like him and his ice time has increased a lot in the last two games.
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